Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk to boost small businesses in Georgia
The European Union, the International Trade Centre and the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia launched the Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk platform in Tbilisi for Georgian businesses – in Georgian.
The European Union and the International Trade Centre (ITC), in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, have launched the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Trade Helpdesk platform for the Georgian business community.
The online platform has been developed as part of a regional project funded by the European Union (EU), which aims to unlock over €380 million worth of the country’s unrealized export potential to the Eastern Partnership region and the EU.
The untapped export potential of Georgia to EaP markets totals €103 million. The newly released EaP Trade Helpdesk platform shares an overview of market possibilities for established products already exported; not only to the EaP, but also for the EU. It also includes the overview of market possibilities for products less known.
Freely accessible to all companies and available in Georgian, the platform has three modules to navigate the different stages of the trade analysis process. Users can identify new opportunities in Eastern Partnership and EU countries – both by product and target market – and find market conditions for specific country-product combinations. The Help Centre integrated in the platform allows users to explore training materials and resources, as well as submit their queries to the network of technical experts coordinated by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.
The launch was preceded by a week of extensive training for officials from the Georgian Government and business support organizations, in which the participants increased their capacity in trade and market analysis using the Trade Helpdesk and other related information sources, such as the Access2Markets portal that is managed by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Trade. The knowledge accumulated in the training will enable them to develop new trade portfolios serving small businesses in Georgia that constitute over 80% of the economy.
Sigrid Brettel, Head of Cooperation, EU delegation to Georgia said at the launch: “Under the umbrella of our EU4business initiative, 100% funded by the European Union and in a joint and fruitful cooperation with ITC and the Government of Georgia, the EaP Trade Helpdesk platform is capacity building at its best: ITC has designed and delivered an interactive website including a training programme, which will enable future exporters to unlock the full export potential of the Eastern Partnership region with the EU.”
Mondher Mimouni, Chief, Trade and Market Intelligence at the International Trade Centre added: “Trade, by definition, is a cross-border activity, and for trade between countries to grow it is crucial that there is easy, accessible and relevant access to trade-related information – both about domestic and destination requirements, and about the market possibilities abroad. The Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk platform is a unique regional bridge between the EU and Georgian economy. It can be instrumental in realizing additionally almost € 400 million worth of exports for Georgia over the course of the next three to four years.”
Genady Arveladze, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia said at the launch: “On Georgia’s ambitious path of becoming the EU candidate country, it is getting more and more obvious and critical than ever, that the EU’s strong position and support gives Georgia more motivation to feel as part of the European family. Building closer links with EU and Eastern Partners is our highest priority. Due to its scale and comprehensiveness, I am confident that the New Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk platform will help Georgian businesses, including SMEs to properly plan and make full use of their export potential.”